Saturday, September 4, 2010

Another SC2 Gripe

The other day, I lost my net connection, (not tremendously unusual when we have bad weather), and I received this message:
As advertised, SC2 is supposed to be able to run without a BN connection once the owner of the game has registered it.    I decided to play some of the single player scenarios in the meantime while waiting for my network access to resume.  See below what happens when the user click's the button for "Play Offline"...



SC "forgot" that I had authorized it and been playing for weeks with a SC2 character.  It now stupidly demands "authorization" to use software for which I've paid.

Activision has made conflicting statements about the reasons for these harsh, totalitarian-seeming requirements - such as that it is and is not primarily to prevent sharing the software with friends, which they call "piracy".  In other words: your Grandma was evil when she told you that we should share with others, especially those who have less than we do.  (Christ was evil also, according to this kind of corporatism.)  

Another claim is that it is to "enhance" the experience of players, which might be believable if the enhancements were only implementable via draconian centralized control.  To use a favorite example: the Nazi party took over Germany and fed and put to work the huge percentage of the population that was starving and unemployed, yet this does not make Nazism a good choice.  Similarly, making improvements to software after a decade hardly justify tight centralized control - rather: one would expect improved software after 10 or more years.  Anyone who says otherwise is, well... likely selling something you otherwise wouldn't want to buy.

Now I only have one "OK" option in response to not having web access, and when clicking it, I receive this dialog box:

Not to worry, this is surely a way to resolve the problem without network access via a local webpage on your machine right?  I mean, no one would be so stupid as to require network access to correct a lack of network access, right?

 Apparently, Activision programmers and project managers CAN be that stupid!  After a couple of weeks, it seems to be remembering my login (but not password) more reliably, but I'm not making any bets.  In a way, it is good for SC2 to have so many problems: it makes me grateful when it runs - especially considering how much I paid for it!

The investors and managers who profit most from the hard work of creative programmers, artists, and the rest must really be happy they can legally be rewarded for such abusive practices and doing everything they can to create unnatural scarcity via closed markets.

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